“At what point in history was it ever possible to say to the power hungry and the rich: stop, you have had enough. You cannot ask the tiger for mercy.”

Cathal Goulding – Reacting to the coup against and murder of Chile’s President Allende, 1973.

Whatever the final outcome of the neo-liberal assault on the Greek State and people, the process has been helpful in clarifying the obstacles facing those committed to progressive change.

Within Europe the right and its media have succeeded since the onset of the economic crisis in 2008 in presenting its impact in national terms, seeking to divide and rule. Those who still promote the EU as a bulwark against chauvinistic nationalism must consider the manner in which peoples have been conjured up as phantom auxiliaries by Germany and its cohorts, among them Ireland, in recent weeks. They spoke of their ‘electorates’ being no longer willing to assist the people of Greece without their state and society being forced to conform to neo-liberal diktats.

Claiming to remove borders, the EU has created new and more sinister ones. This summer thousands have perished in the Mediterranean trying to enter the EU, their plight a direct result of the EU-assisted destruction of Libya, and of the EU’s neo-liberal economy which preys on economic migrants with the aim of driving down the living standards of the working class.

In this EU, the ideas of the communist movement are being legally lumped together with Nazism. This drive to outlaw even the advocacy of class struggle is supported by governments with far-right connections.

This attack on the vanguard of the working class forms part of a wider drive against all organised labour, made blindingly clear by the largely unreported determination of the EU to ban collective bargaining in Greece.

The nature of the EU has now been fully exposed. Rather than seek impossible scenarios of its restructuring to accommodate progressive politics, the question is what can be done to disentangle ourselves from its tentacles and liberate the working class once more to fulfil its historic mission of building a better society for all.

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